Appeal Ref: APP/Z2830/A/11/2165035
Spring Farm Ridge, land to the north of Welsh Lane between Greatworth
Decision date: 12 July 2012
South Northamptonshire Council has been informed that a planning appeal for permission to build five wind turbines plus underground cabling, meteorological mast, access tracks, control building and temporary site compound and ancillary development has been upheld by the government’s planning inspectorate.
On 30 June 2011 South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) originally rejected the planning application from Broadview Energy Developments Limited for reasons relating to:
- the historic environment
- landscape and visual impacts to neighbouring residents
- noise to local residents
- harm to the public rights of way
- network and highway safety
The planners felt that these impacts would outweigh the acknowledged economic and environmental benefits of the wind turbines and their contribution towards renewable energy targets.
The developers lodged an appeal with the government’s Planning Inspectorate on 30 December 2011 and a public inquiry (lasting eight days) began on 15 May 2012. In addition to hearing the council’s case the inspector made two site visits, and heard from more than 25 individual opponents to the scheme from the local community.
The decision notice, received yesterday (12 July), confirmed that the inspector, in reaching her decision agreed with the council that the turbines would:
- have a major impact on the landscape as it currently exists
- have considerable impact on some of the many heritage assets within 5km of the proposed wind farm
- result in the loss of a perception of tranquillity to the well-used public rights of ways network
- dominate the outlook
- be unpleasantly imposing and pervasive to a neighbouring resident
- be contrary to several local and regional planning policies.
However the inspector concluded that the total impact of the proposal would not outweigh the wider economic and environmental benefits and to approve the proposal. This took into account the need to increase the amount of renewable energy generation in order to meet government obligations by 2020 and help reduce the impact of climate change.
Councillor Stephen Clarke, chairman of the development control committee, said: “I am very disappointed with the decision. We have never questioned the need to promote renewable energy sources, however, there is a clear need to undertake a balanced assessment of such proposals which is what the Council as local planning authority sought to do.
“On this occasion we concluded that a wind farm in this location will have a detrimental effect on the natural surroundings and residents of the nearby villages. We will now consider what our next steps may be”
For further information visit http://snc.planningregister.co.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=63417
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